Jenni Harvey

Jenni Harvey is a thirty-eight year old single woman and aspiring photographer who's home is overwhelmed with memorabilia of those in her life who have passed away.

After a series of family tragedies, Jenni inherited her grandfather's home and moved in. Unable to let go of any of his belongings, Jenni is now buried under a mountain of clutter that threatens her ability to function.
Peter holding a photo of Jenni's late father

Jenni has been struggling with painful memories of deaths in her family for years.

"My dad passed away when I was nineteen. He killed himself. I looked up to him. He was my hero. After my dad died, I was never so alone. And then my aunt passed away. She was forty-nine years old. A year later is when my grandfather passed away. I've already [suffered] so much loss, so for me to get rid of my material things would create another loss within me," she says.
Jenni and her brother

Jenni's brother, Chris, lives with her in their grandfather's home.

"He has a room in the back," she says. "More often than not he leaves because he doesn't want to be around it. He doesn't like the clutter. We don't talk very often, if at all. We're strangers now."

"Everybody says 'It's your little sister, just make her do it'. It's not that easy...when Jenni moved in, she was supposed to clean it up, but she just sort of transformed it into what it is now. But I don't know how to change it. And I want to see her succeed, but neither one of us were really prepared to be grown-ups as fast as was thrust upon us."
Jenny looking through old family photos

Jenni's inability to move beyond the tragic events of her past have led her to hoard the material things that represent her family history. "I truly feel that I???m in danger of becoming a hoarder where you can't walk through the house," says Jenni.

This behavior has not only put strain on her relationship with her brother, it has prevented her from becoming close with others. Jenni's best friend has never even been inside her house.

One of the items in the memory clutter that Jenni hoards in her home is a chest that belonged to her grandfather and contains his personal items. The chest and has not been opened since 1950. "Nobody knows what is in that chest," says Jenni.
Jenni with her best friend

Having had enough of her destructive and increasingly reclusive lifestyle, Jenni enlists the help of Peter Walsh to turn her life around. But in order to be successful, she is going to need the emotional support of her brother and finally allow her best friend, Robyn, to see her severely cluttered home.
Jenni Harvey, Peter Walsh and the contents of her storage unit.

While Peter is assessing Jenni's home, she reveals to him that she also has a storage unit an hour and a half away which contains everything she's kept over her entire life.

"When I hear the term storage unit, I cringe. They're a huge weight on your shoulders, they're very expensive, and they should only be used for a very short period of time if at all," says Peter.
Jenni's Cluttered Living room

Jenni's living room before Peter steps in to help.

"In my living room, there's a pile that I live off of. It's constantly evolving. My bed is in the living room. I understand a bed in the living room is irrational. Normal people don't do that, but...the bedroom is piled high. You can barely walk in there. My house depresses me. It's truly like coming into a cage," she says.
Jenni's Livingroom After.

Jenni's living room after it is rebuilt.

After Peter and his crew help Jenni transform the living room, it is a welcome, inviting space that displays her photography. Also present is Jenni's grandfathers' chest.

"We had a piece of glass cut to protect the top of the chest. Everything that was in this chest, all the memories, all of his things, are still in this chest. He is present here," says Peter.
Bedroom Before

Jenni Harvey's Bedroom before Peter steps in to help.

Before, Jenni's bedroom was a storage room with her and her grandfather???s stuff piled to the ceiling. "It's sad. It's dark. My grandma died. My grandpa died. That was their room," says Jenni.

Bedroom After

Jenni Harvey's bedroom after it is rebuilt.

"I love my bedroom. The vision that Peter and I talked about, that's ??? it's in living color. It's not a storage area, it's not a cage," says Jenni of her new bedroom.
Jenni Harvey and Peter Walsh examine her decluttered closet

Jenni's closet

Before, when Peter walked into Jenni's bedroom, everything was buried. "[Jenni] hadn't seen this closet for years...what we have here, all of the clothes on the same hangers, so it creates a really beautiful straight line [and] a shoe rack to keep your shoes off the floor," says Peter.
Jenny with her brother in their new livingroom

Now that Jenni is free of the physical and emotional clutter that she was hoarding, she can focus on rebuilding her relationship with her brother and fully pursue her passion for photography.

"Chris and I have gotten closer over this process. It was not about cleaning up my house, it was about cleaning up the past. That is what is healing my heart," she says.

"After two days of hard work, Jenni has not only de-cluttered her master bedroom, her living room, and her storage unit, but she's also coming to terms with the events from her past that created the clutter problem in the first place," says Peter.


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